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Publication numberUS20050003885 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/693,741
Publication dateJan 6, 2005
Filing dateOct 24, 2003
Priority dateJul 3, 2003
Publication number10693741, 693741, US 2005/0003885 A1, US 2005/003885 A1, US 20050003885 A1, US 20050003885A1, US 2005003885 A1, US 2005003885A1, US-A1-20050003885, US-A1-2005003885, US2005/0003885A1, US2005/003885A1, US20050003885 A1, US20050003885A1, US2005003885 A1, US2005003885A1
InventorsLarry Rhoten
Original AssigneeRhoten Larry D.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Roulette game random ball release
US 20050003885 A1
Abstract
An improved roulette type game in which an electronic Start signal triggers a Launch signal, but only after an electronically generated random time delay.
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Claims(15)
1. In a roulette game wherein a ball is launched about the periphery of a rotating wheel having circumferentially arranged pockets, and wherein the final stopping of the ball in a particular pocket determines a win or loss result, the method of launching the ball in such a way that the dealer in charge of the game has no direct physical contact with the ball during either its launch or its subsequent travel, and no control over where the ball might stop, comprising the steps of:
selecting a mechanical launch mechanism capable of launching the ball along a desired path about the wheel periphery;
selecting an electronic random time delay device that is capable of energizing the launch mechanism at a random time delay after it has itself been energized;
selecting an isolated manually actuable activation means which, when actuated by a person's hand, is capable of then energizing the electronic random time delay device; and
then, when it is desired to launch the ball, energizing the isolated manually actuable activation means, so that the person who actuates the isolated activation means is unable to predict either the exact time the ball will be launched or its ultimate stopping place.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein a launch mechanism is selected which is capable of launching the ball along a desired path about the wheel periphery;
an electronic random time delay device is selected that is capable of energizing the launch mechanism at a random time delay after it has itself been energized; and
an isolated manually actuable activation means is utilized for generating a Start Game signal to then energize the electronic random time delay device.
3. The method of claim 2 wherein the launch mechanism is operated by an electromagnetic action.
4. The method of claim 3 wherein the launch mechanism is retrofitted into an existing roulette game table.
5. The method of claim 1 which further includes the step of displaying to the players of the game a visual indication of the amount of time that randomly transpired between the generation of a Start Game signal and the energization of the launch mechanism.
6. The method of claim 2 which further includes the step of displaying to the players of the game a visual indication of the amount of time that randomly transpired between the generation of a Start Game signal and the energization of the launch mechanism.
7. In a roulette game with a rotating wheel and a plurality of circumferentially arranged pockets thereon, and a ball whose final stopping in a particular pocket is intended to determine a win or loss result, the improvement comprising:
a mechanical launch mechanism capable of launching the ball along a desired path about the wheel periphery;
an electronic random time delay device that is capable of energizing the launch mechanism at a random time delay after it has itself been energized, the random time delay having an output operatively coupled to the launch mechanism;
an isolated activation means adapted to be manually actuated by a person's hand for producing a launch signal; and
means for communicating a Start Game signal from the isolated activation means to the random time delay device to energize the random time delay device;
so that any person who actuates the isolated activation means is unable to predict either the exact time the ball will be launched or its stopping place, and a dealer in charge of the game has no power to select the pocket in which the ball will stop.
8. Apparatus of claim 7 wherein the launch mechanism includes a solenoid for driving the ball.
9. Apparatus of claim 7 which further includes a time delay readout for visually indicating the actual time delay that the random time delay device has created in transmitting the Start Game signal to the launch energizing mechanism.
10. Apparatus of claim 7 wherein the activation means includes a push button located remotely from the roulette wheel.
11. Apparatus as in claim 7 which further includes electronic means for indicating when the roulette ball has stopped, thereby making it possible to start another game.
12. Apparatus of claim 7 wherein the launch mechanism is driven by air pressure.
13. In a roulette game having a wooden frame with a plurality of circumferentially arranged pockets thereon, a rotating wheel supported within the frame, and a ball whose final stopping in a particular pocket is intended to determine a win or loss result, the improvement comprising:
a mechanical launch mechanism mounted in an opening in the wooden frame and capable of launching the ball along a desired path about the wheel periphery;
an electronic random time delay device that is capable of energizing the launch mechanism at a random time delay after it has itself been energized, the random time delay having an output operatively coupled to the launch mechanism;
an isolated activation means adapted to be manually actuated by a person's hand for producing a launch signal; and
means for communicating a Start Game signal from the isolated activation means to the random time delay device to energize the random time delay device;
so that any person who actuates the isolated activation means is unable to predict either the exact time the ball will be launched or its stopping place, and a dealer in charge of the game has no power to select the pocket in which the ball will stop.
14. Apparatus of claim 13 which further includes a time delay readout for visually indicating the actual time delay that the random time delay device has created in transmitting the Start Game signal to the launch energizing mechanism.
15. Apparatus as in claim 14 which further includes means for indicating when the roulette ball has stopped, thereby making it possible to start another game.
Description
PRIORITY CLAIM

I claim priority of my three U.S. Provisional Applications Ser. No. 60\484990 filed Jul. 3, 2003; Ser. No. 60\495641 filed Aug. 15, 2003; and Ser. No. 60\502456 filed Sep. 11, 2003.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to improvements in gaming devices, and particularly to the game of roulette.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the game of roulette, which is played at many gaming houses in the United States and elsewhere, a dealer employed by the gaming house releases a ball which then travels around the periphery of a rotating wheel having circumferentially arranged pockets, until the ball finally stops in a particular pocket. The stopping place of the ball, and a number associated with that stopping place, determines whether particular players have won or lost on their bets, and whether the house has won or lost.

Although it is perhaps a groundless concern, some players worry that the dealer, because of greater familiarity with the apparatus and its mode of operation, may be able to cause the ball to stop at a location favorable to the house but which will cause the players to lose.

Many players may therefore wish for a procedure that would ensure that the dealer cannot and has not “rigged” the play.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention I have provided a method and apparatus for a roulette game, wherein a ball is launched about the periphery of a rotating wheel having circumferentially arranged pockets, and wherein the final stopping of the ball in a particular pocket determines a win or loss result. My method and apparatus ensures that the dealer cannot and has not “rigged” the play.

According to my novel method the ball is launched in such a way that the dealer in charge of the game has no direct physical contact with the ball during either its launch or its subsequent travel, and no control over where the ball might stop.

Further according to my novel method, a mechanical launch mechanism is selected which is capable of launching the ball along a desired path about the wheel periphery; an electronic random time delay device is selected that is capable of energizing the launch mechanism at a random time delay after it has itself been energized; and an isolated manually actuable activation means is utilized for generating a start signal to then energize the electronic random time delay device. When it is desired to launch the ball, therefore, the isolated manually actuable activation means is energized, so that the person who actuates it is unable to either predict or control either the exact time the ball will be launched or its ultimate stopping place.

According to my invention any of a number of different means may be utilized for communicating a start signal to the electronic random time delay device, including a hard-wired circuit, a radio transmitter, an infrared remote control, or the like.

Further according to my invention, any of a number of different launch mechanisms may be utilized for the launching of the ball. The launching may be propelled by an electromagnetic action, by a release of air pressure, by spring action, or other suitable means.

Still further in accordance with my invention, I provide an apparatus which may be retrofitted into an existing roulette game table and which may then be used to carry out the purposes of my invention.

DRAWING SUMMARY

FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of the presently preferred apparatus in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2(a) is a schematic diagram of a random time delay circuit and an associated visible time delay readout in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2(b) is a wave diagram showing the timing relationships in the operation of the random time delay circuit of FIG. 2(a);

FIGS. 3 a, 3 b, and 3 c illustrate in schematic form various types of launching mechanisms that may be utilized with my invention; and

FIG. 4 illustrates a roulette game table retrofit apparatus in accordance with my invention, in which an opening is made in the wooden housing for the roulette wheel, and the launch mechanism is fitted into that opening.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows a roulette wheel 10 onto which a ball 11 is to be launched. An energizable launch device or mechanism 12 is available to provide the actual launching of the ball. A remote transmitter 14 is controlled by a push button 15. When the button 15 is pushed the transmitter generates a Start Game signal 16 that is then transmitted to an electronic random time delay circuit 17. In FIG. 1 the start signal 16 is represented by a dotted line and arrow, indicative of the fact that any of several different means may be utilized for communicating the Start Game signal to the electronic random time delay circuit 17. Also associated with the time delay circuit 17 is a time delay readout 18 which will visibly indicate the actual amount of time that transpires after the start button 15 is pressed and before the launch mechanism 12 is energized.

In accordance with the invention a random time period is generated by electronic circuitry as shown in FIG. 2. Referring now to FIG. 2(a) of the drawings, the principal operative circuit elements that create a random time delay period are a square-wave generator 20, a latching flip-flop 25, and a D flip-flop 30. The operation of the D flip-flop 30 is of unique importance and will be described first.

D flip-flop 30 has an input 31 which receives an Enable signal on output 27 from the latch 25, and an input 32 which receives the output signal of the square-wave generator 20. It also has a primary output terminal 33 from which a launch signal 40 is to be generated. The operation of the D flip-flop is such that an output signal on terminal 33 is only possible after the signal on input 32 has raised from low to high voltage level. In other words, if the input signal received on terminal 32 from square-wave generator 20 is already high at the time the Enable signal starts, then nothing else will happen; flip-flop 30 will not then produce an output until its square-wave input on terminal 32 goes down to its lower voltage level and then later rises to the higher level.

FIG. 2(b) shows the time relationships resulting from the circuitry of FIG. 2(a). The Start Game signal applied to terminal 26 of latching flip-flop 25 causes the Enable signal on terminal 27 to rise to its higher level. That time is designated as t1. Assuming that the output signal on output terminal 32 of square wave generator 30 is still at a low level, a random time delay period extending from t1 to t2 will now take place. The time when the output terminal 32 of generator 30 rises to its high level is designated as time t2. The co-existence of the continuing Enable signal on line 27 at its high level and the change of terminal 32 to a high level then causes the D flip-flop 30 to generate a launch signal 40 on its output terminal 33.

The time interval between time t1 and time t2 is a randomly generated time interval. It will be understood that the operation of square wave generator 20 is not synchronized with anything else in the circuitry. The square wave genereator may, for example, be a free-running multivibrator with either equal or unequal time periods for its two output states. Alternatively, a high-frequency oscillator could be utilized with a frequency divider circuit to create a low frequency square wave output on terminal 32. By selecting a desired time period for the low voltage level output of generator 20 it is possible to generate random time delays that may be a very small fraction of a second, or as much as several seconds, as may be desired. The random time delay interval will never exceed the duration of the low voltage level of the low frequency square wave output on terminal 32.

Clock Signal generator 50 is an independent circuit. The clock frequency is selected to be at least many times the frequency of the square wave output signal of generator 20. When the signal received on terminal 32 goes from low to high, there may then have been a rather large number of clock pulses which the counter 45 would have counted before the output signal of the generator 20 goes low again. The time delay count displayed on the readout device 18 may be calibrated in any desired units, since players or customers for the game will be primarily interested in seeing that the time delays are random and not pre-programmed.

Latching flip-flop 25 performs the function of receiving and storing the Start Game signal 16 generated from the remote transmitter 14, shown in FIG. 1. It is only while the output 27 of flip-flop 25 is at its high voltage level that the D flip-flop 30 can generate a Launch signal 40 on terminal 33. Thus, D flip-flop circuit 30 acts like an “and” circuit in which the two inputs required to be present concurrently are (1) an Enable signal that has been received from output terminal 27 of latch 25 and continues to exist; and (2) the output of square wave generator 20 on terminal 32 having risen from its low to its high level and continuing to exist at that level. During the time period that these two conditions exist concurrently, the counter 45 will count pulses from the clock generator 50 and provide a corresponding output to display 18. When the output voltage of the D flip-flop returns to its lower level the count will stop, under control of complementary output line 34 of D flip-flop 30.

Readout from display 18 is available from the time that the counting starts until the high output voltage level from D flip-flop 30 ends, at which time complementary output terminal 34 of the flip-flop generates a signal indicating that the count should be stopped. This signal on terminal 34 is combined through an “and” gate 57 with the output of latch 25, to instruct counter circuit 45 to stop counting. The accumulated time count will then remain visible for a period of time.

When the ball has stopped, and its stoppage has been electronically detected, one of the inputs required for “and” gate 60 is satisfied. The other requirement is a Reset Game signal on input line 61. When these two inputs co-exist, gate 60 then produces a negative output pulse acting as a reset signal which is delivered to each of three different places to return the circuitry to initial starting condition. One of those three destinations is latch 25; another is D flip-flop 30; and the third is counter 45.

It is desirable for the random time count displayed in device 18 to remain visible for some period of time after the ball has stopped, in order to allow the players or customers adequate time to see and understand the random time delay count.

With the circuitry as presently illustrated it is necessary for the dealer (or someone else) to send a Game Reset signal on input line 61; then, it is also necessary to push the remote button 15 in order to actually start a new game by again launching the ball. It would be possible to combine start button 15 and reset game line 61 into a single control, but that would not be the preferred approach.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 a, 3 b, and 3 c, it will be seen that driving power to launch the ball 11 may be achieved by any of three different methods. As shown in FIG. 3 a a one-shot multivibrator 70 delivers a pulse of energy to a spring-loaded solenoid 71, which in turn drives a plunger 72 to launch the ball 11. As shown in FIG. 3 b a source 75 of pressurized air may be selectively admitted through a valve 76 to drive the launch plunger 72. FIG. 3 c indicates that a loaded spring 95 may be released to drive a ball flipper 97. I presently prefer the electromechanical action as provided by the solenoid 71. Although any one of these launch mechanisms may be utilized in accordance with my novel method, there are other known mechanisms that could, if desired, be used for that purpose.

Referring now to FIG. 4, there is shown a retrofit apparatus in accordance with my invention that may be used to modify a presently existing roulette table to accomplish the purposes of my invention. A cable 90 receives the launch signal 40 from output 33 of D flip-flop 30. Housing 13 for the roulette wheel 10 has an opening 80 for receiving the Launch device 12. Launch device 12 includes the one-shot multivibrator 70 which is located in a relatively large rearward part of opening 80. A smaller forward portion 84 of opening 80 extends forwardly. A plunger 72 is reciprocably movable within forward housing 84 for launching the ball 11. The multivibrator 70 delivers a pulse of energy to a spring-loaded solenoid 71, also contained within housing portion 82, and which in turn drives the plunger 72 to launch the ball.

Method of Operation. Before a game is started it is necessary for the dealer to place the ball in the extreme forward end of opening 80 where it may be engaged by plunger 72. Then a Reset Game signal is applied to line 61. The apparatus is now ready to start a game. The next step is for the dealer—or a player or customer—to push the remote button 15. This causes flip-flop 25 to latch in the Enable state, at time t1. When the output wave of square-wave generator 20 again rises to its high level, at time t2, a launch signal 40 will be generated and plunger 72 will launch the ball. At the same time, the counter 45 will have accumulated a count indicative of the random time delay that has transpired between the pushing of button 15 and the application of a launch energize signal to launch mechanism 12. A count that represents the random time delay is then visibly displayed in the display device 18. The dealer may then reposition the ball in preparation for another game. The time delay display will remain until another Game Reset signal is applied to line 61.

The presently preferred embodiment of my invention has been disclosed in detail in order to comply with requirements of the patent laws. It will be understood, however, that other modifications and variations will be understood by persons who are skilled in the art, and that the scope of my invention is to be judged only in accordance with the appended claims.

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US7478811 *Jul 29, 2005Jan 20, 2009Garrett JohnsonWave driven gaming apparatus
US7815187May 11, 2006Oct 19, 2010Universal Entertainment CorporationRoulette board and method for controlling the same
US8511682Sep 13, 2010Aug 20, 2013Universal Entertainment CorporationRoulette board and method for controlling the same
US8602833Sep 29, 2009Dec 10, 2013May Patents Ltd.Puzzle with conductive path
US8951088Nov 5, 2012Feb 10, 2015May Patents Ltd.Puzzle with conductive path
US20060022470 *Jul 29, 2005Feb 2, 2006Garrett JohnsonWave driven gaming apparatus
US20140256398 *May 23, 2014Sep 11, 2014Novomatic AgMultiplayer gaming system
WO2009133395A2 *Apr 28, 2009Nov 5, 2009Cammegh LimitedGaming apparatus
WO2011007349A1 *Jul 13, 2010Jan 20, 2011Yehuda BinderSequentially operated modules
WO2013075838A1Nov 23, 2012May 30, 2013Novomatic AgMultiplayer gaming system
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/17
International ClassificationA63F5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F7/2472, A63F5/00, A63F5/0035, A63F5/0076, A63F2250/1089
European ClassificationA63F5/00